Is Anyone in Trouble? – Part 4
“Come near to God, and he will come near to you.” (James 4:8 NIV)
No one looks forward to trouble, but did you know that it can be God’s choice servant in our lives? That’s because trouble shows us how much we need the Lord and prompts us to run to the throne of grace to receive his mercy and grace in our time of need.
Trouble reminds us how truly helpless we are without the Lord. We can really get full of ourselves when things are working out, can’t we? We put on our swag and start to strut… and in a second, God can remind us that we’re hanging by a thread. Why is that important? It’s important, because helplessness brings humility; and God’s Word says that he resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. So if God wants to bless us, he has to get you and me off our high horse; and he uses trouble to get us down where he can bless us. That’s where he has to bring us, because in the natural, we’re all proud. When trouble comes, however, we go from saying, “Oh, yeah, I’m not so bad,” to “Help me, Jesus!” Can it happen that quickly? Yes, and it’s the best place to be—needing God and saying, “Just help us today, Lord. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us…”
When we’re not in trouble, we can forget that our lives are like a vapor. We start talking about what we’re doing next year or about our five-year goals, with little thought of God’s will for our lives. But if a little trouble comes our way, we’re immediately humbled, so that we cry out, “Oh Jesus, help me get through today!” We start living a day at a time with God; because, let’s face it: all we have is today. Yesterday’s gone, and tomorrow may never come; but we have today to serve him and be used of him to bring blessing to others.
God also uses trouble in our lives as a teacher, for nothing teaches us to pray like trouble. Men and women who have been greatly used by God have been forged in prayer through the fire that God permitted in order to make them what he wanted them to be. You see, God has a big plan for us. He wants us to represent him. He wants to use us. How in the world am I going to help someone in trouble if I have never been in trouble myself? How can I reach and have compassion on someone unless I’ve been there and seen him bring me through? It’s the only way that I can then say to the person, “You’re not going to die, you’re going to live! God is either going to bring you out of that trouble or he’s going to bring you through it. You’re going to have a testimony! Do you know how I know that? Here, let me tell you what I’ve been through. I can tell you what I’m about to tell you, not just because it’s based on the Word of God, but because I saw how it worked during a tough time in my own life: I drew near to God and he drew near to me!”
To be continued...